By Peter Bandettini and the Neurosalience production team
In this podcast, Peter and David Poeppel discuss what it might mean to understand the brain, and how MRI and other imaging modalities may play a part. They discuss David’s past work with Greg Hickok on language pathways as well as his study of the auditory cortex. Another topic discussed is the potential impact of David’s work clinically as well as the need to start with—and progressively add to—models of the brain.
David Poeppel Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University (NYU). Since 2014, he has also been the Director of the Department of Neuroscience at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA). In 2019, he co-founded the Center for Language, Music and Emotion, an international joint research center, co-sponsored by the Max Planck Society and New York University. Since 2021, he is now also the Managing Director of the Ernst Strüngmann Institute in Germany.
David grew up between Munich, Germany; Cambridge MA, USA; and Caracas, Venezuela. He obtained his bachelor's degree (1990) and doctorate (1995) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received training in functional brain imaging as a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco. From 2000 to 2008, he directed the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Laboratory at the University of Maryland College Park, where he was a professor of linguistics and biology. He joined New York University in 2009.
He was a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study and has been a guest professor at several institutions. He has received the DaimlerChrysler Berlin Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and other honors.
David Poeppel is a researcher who employs behavioral and cognitive neuroscience approaches to study the brain basis of auditory processing, speech perception and language comprehension. The research in Poeppel's laboratory addresses questions such as: What are the cognitive and neuronal “parts lists” that form the basis for language processing, the fundamental constituents used in speech and language? How is sensory information transformed into the abstract representations that underlie language processing? What are the neural circuits that enable language processing?
Well-known contributions of the Poeppel laboratory include: the functional anatomic model of language developed with Greg Hickok; research on lateralization in auditory processing; and experimental work on the role of neuronal oscillations in audition and speech perception. He also writes and lectures about methodological questions at the interdisciplinary boundary between cognitive science research and brain research.